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The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged nearly triple digits on Thursday as traders cheered the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates unchanged. But investors remain cautious, and everyone wants to know the same thing: When will the Fed finally raise rates?
Let's look at the final numbers on Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 18,392.46; 98.76; 0.54%
S&P 500: 2,177.18; 14.06; 0.65%
Nasdaq: 5,339.52; 44.34; 0.84%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Thursday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Central Banks Stand Pat on Interest Rates; Oil Rallies in OPEC Hopes
The Dow Jones gained 98 points as investors cheered the Federal Reserve's decision on Wednesday to keep interest rates at current levels. With inflation levels below the central bank's target, the Fed elected to wait for "further evidence of continued progress" before it tightens monetary policy. The markets anticipate that the central bank will hike rates in December after the U.S. presidential election. Some have argued that the Fed has become politicized and that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is holding off a rate hike in order to help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
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All 10 major S&P 500 sectors were in positive territory this afternoon. But it wasn't just the Fed that helped spur the rally. Central banks around the globe are keeping their monetary policy loose in order to spur economic growth and development. The Bank of Japan and the Bank of New Zealand did not raise rates during their September policy meetings.
Oil prices pressed higher thanks to a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories. In addition, traders continue to speculate on whether OPEC and Russia can reach an agreement next week to support prices and curb output. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors says that next week's meeting in Algeria is about much more than just oil prices. Here's when OPEC will change its strategy… and what the Algiers meeting is really about… right here.
But the big news is the state of the global economy. With the world lurching toward recession, the combination of bad economic planning and poor leadership around the globe has investors on edge. Geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea, Ukraine, the Russian Caucasus, the Korean peninsula, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia don't show any signs of letting up. So what are investors to do? Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Michael A. Robinson projects that defense spending around the globe is about to heat up. And that can be very profitable for savvy investors who buy into these companies.
Top Stock Market News Today, Sept. 22, 2016
- Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) rallied more than 9% after the company received an upgrade from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). The bank issued a "Buy" rating of the stock and said that it expects the company's decision to eliminate its dividend has improved its capital structure.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained more than 1.2% after the company received an upgrade from BMO. Meanwhile, shares of Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) were off 0.2% despite positive feedback over its partnership with the NFL. Of course, we've been warning that its live feeds of NFL games aren't about to drive significant revenue for the company. In fact, the company is experiencing huge problem with user growth. And that is why we expect TWTR stock to fall in the months ahead. Here's our latest insight.
- Meanwhile, shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) added nearly 1% after both Nomura and RBC increased their price targets. But these targets are still conservative from where we see AAPL stock heading in the future. Money Morning Options Trading Specialist Tom Gentile explains that Apple's iPhone 7 sales will offer a huge boon to investors. And there's still time to capture gains from three different strategies that he outlines, right here.
- In earnings news, shares of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) added more than 0.4% after the pharmacy giant topped second-quarter earnings expectations, but fell short of revenue forecasts. The company reported an EPS of $0.03 on top of $8.0 billion in revenue. That latter figure fell short of Wall Street revenue expectations of $8.2 billion.
- After the bell, look out for quarterly updates from AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR), Triangle Petroleum Corp. (Nasdaq: TPLM), and Scholastic Corp. (Nasdaq: SCHL).
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 12 p.m.
- Regional Fed Presidents – Philadelphia's Patrick Harker, Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart, and Cleveland's Loretta Mester – panel at 12:20 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) Rig Count at 1:00 p.m.